Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, sigh…
Summary: Sasuke wasn't the only one to survive the Uchiha massacre, his twin sister survived too… and her presence shifts the dynamic of Team 7 and the Rookie 9. Comedy, romance, pain, and action ahead.
A lot of you are probably reading this reluctantly, maybe out of boredom or hesitantly checking out the first chapter to ensure that yes, this is another disappointing story about an unoriginal OC that undoubtedly must be a Mary Sue. Rest assured, at the point I am right now in the story (31 chapters in,) I can say with great confidence that Aiko has avoided Suedom, and this has been confirmed by many others.
Does that mean you'll love the story? No, I've had my share of negative reviews, and more than a few are justified. But please read and draw your own conclusions. In the end, I hope you enjoy the story.
I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my first wife.
Everybody leaves and I'd expect as much from you.
I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my old life.
Everybody leaves, so why, why wouldn't you?
Great Expectations - Gaslight Anthem
Uzumaki Naruto was friendless. He had been that way for the longest time, before he had been kicked out of the orphanage. His only true friend was the Hokage of the village, and even he was more of a grandfather. Naruto was utterly alone in the world; the village he had grown to love simply hated him, the villagers' eyes only showed hatred, pure hatred, for his presence.
So Naruto was silent, he glared back, but eventually the stares became too much. He ran from the playground, away from the whispers, the glares… why did they hate him so much? What had he done? What had he-
"Are you okay?"
A voice, another child's voice, stopped him. The blonde haired boy turned to look at the voice's owner, a dark haired girl stared at him curiously. Her stare wasn't filled with the obvious hate of the villagers, rather it just held question in it. Naruto wiped away his tears, not daring to show how much the villagers had hurt him.
"I-I'm fine!" Naruto replied, with a bit of a loud stutter.
The girl was sitting on a swing, she shrugged, "My mom says it's okay to cry sometimes, it means we're human. My dad said only weak people cry, though."
"I'm not weak!"
"I didn't say you were," she replied defensively, beginning to swing, "That's just what my dad says. What's your name, anyways?"
"Well, I'm Aiko. Do you want to swing with me?"
Aiko gestured to the swing seat next to her, which was empty. Naruto cautiously took it, sitting down, watching as the black haired girl quickly got higher and higher. His own seat didn't move.
"Why aren't you swinging?" Aiko slowed herself down, to stare at him curiously again.
"I… I don't know how."
"What? No one taught you how to swing before?"
Naruto was silent.
Aiko shrugged, "Okay well, just watch me, I'll go slow." She began to shimmy herself again, kicking her legs out and under in a rhythm, slowly getting the seat to move back and forth. Naruto cautiously copied her, and quickly found himself moving in a similar motion. Aiko, seeing that her new friend had got it, quickly began to kick out and in faster.
Naruto soon found himself rising up and down at a rate that even slightly scared him, it was… exhilarating. At the top of his swing, he felt his heart drop as he fell, only to be swung upwards again by the force of his movement.
"See? Swinging is the best!"
The wind pressed against his face, Naruto's heart swelled as he laughed happily, genuinely, at the feeling that had found him. He had a friend, a real friend.
For nearly an hour, they swung back and forth, only stopping to talk a little, and catch their breath. Naruto opened up, little by little to Aiko, admitting that he lived by himself, that he was an orphan.
He should have known it was too good to last. A black haired boy, in similar blue clothes to Aiko approached them. They slowed, and Aiko greeted him, "Hi Sasuke-chan!"
"Mom wants you." Sasuke replied shortly, Aiko nodded and hopped off the swing, waving to Naruto.
"Bye Naruto, I'll meet you here tomorrow, 'kay?"
Naruto nodded mutely, as she ran off. Sasuke however, stayed, glaring at him. "Who are you?" Sasuke asked bluntly.
"I'm Naruto… Uzumaki Naruto."
"Who? Whatever, I don't care. You stay away from my sister!"
Naruto blinked, "But… why? We're friends, uhm I think."
"You aren't friends." Sasuke replied hotly, "She's from the Uchiha clan, the greatest clan in this village. You're a nobody, stay away from her!"
With that, Sasuke turned away and ran in the same direction Aiko had, towards the Uchiha compound.
His swing swung listlessly under him, Naruto despaired at the loss of his new friend. He was alone again.
"Wow nii-chan! How do you hit all those targets without your Sharingan?" Aiko wondered allowed as Itachi struck all the targets again with his kunai. Sasuke looked on in similar amazement.
"One day you'll learn too."
"Can you teach us now?" Aiko asked excitedly.
"Not today, Aiko-chan."
"Awww, nii-san you never want to teach us." Sasuke complained, "We're old enough, we can do it too!" Itachi picked Aiko up and put her on his back as he began to walk towards the Uchiha compound, Sasuke following behind him.
"There is no need to rush to gain strength, Sasuke." Itachi said finally, after a minute of walking in silence, Aiko had rested her head on her brother's shoulder.
Sasuke scowled, "Dad says we should be stronger, more like you. Is it true you were already a genin when you were our age, nii-san?"
"…Dad loves you more than us." Aiko whispered softly into her brother's shoulder, Itachi felt her shudder against him, making sure her tears stayed unshed. Itachi cursed his father's pride in him, his foolish plans, and most of all he cursed the elders of Konoha for putting him in this position.
"Do not take what father says seriously." Itachi replied after a moment, "He loves you both very much, just the way you are." Neither of his siblings responded, though Aiko held him a bit tighter.
Sasuke didn't feel his brother's words, they were empty. Father loved Itachi more because he was stronger, because he was talented. Sasuke was neither; he trained so hard at the academy but didn't progress at a rate that made his father proud. All his father could seem to think about was Itachi. He knew his sister felt similarly, but at least she had their mother. Sasuke's mother loved him, he knew that, but it was obvious that she loved Aiko more.
Aiko and Itachi, they were both so much better than him. Everyone who met Aiko adored her. Sure they smiled at Sasuke, were genuinely polite… but his coldness, his blunt tone, it made people like him less. Despite his clan, Sasuke had no friends, all he had was his brother and sister.
Itachi was never one for talking, but Sasuke felt him pulling away from them. Aiko had many friends at the ninja academy in their class, but Sasuke only had Aiko. Every day Aiko would chatter about Sakura this, Ino that, and Sasuke would be silent, left out again.
The other boys had tried to make friends with him, sure, but they weren't able to stand his arrogance, his haughty belief that he was superior to them… it left him quite alone. The other children had their friends, Sasuke had no one.
Of course, he wasn't the only one. There was also Naruto, who was even more alone than he was. Sasuke had Aiko, despite her growth away from him. Naruto had no one, no family, and no friends. More than that, Naruto was despised by the villagers.
They seemed to hide it well, but Sasuke could see it in their eyes, they seemed to hate Naruto for no apparent reason. Just as he noticed the faint dislike that everyone who met him seemed to have, he noticed the ire of the villagers. At first he had believed it was due to the pranks that Naruto played, the loud voice he had developed, but it was too deep, the hatred for the blonde had left Sasuke at a loss.
He ignored the conundrum, Naruto was unimportant. He was dead last in their class; he failed every test, slept in class, and couldn't even hit one target with kunai. Sasuke and Aiko were at the other spectrum completely, Sasuke topped the class with Aiko close behind. Their teachers crowed that they were prodigies, even though their father simply deferred to the fact that Itachi was better.
Sasuke had played with the idea of becoming friends with Naruto, but like the villagers, his father seemed to despise the boy, and he stayed away, in fear of his father's hatred turning on him.
"…the death of Uchiha Shisui…"
Sasuke was suddenly made aware of the three Uchiha that stood before them, Itachi had put Aiko down and was currently staring at the other three, something akin to rage in his eyes. Quicker than Sasuke could blink, Itachi attacked the other three, sending the three to the ground before they could barely activate their own Sharingan.
Before Sasuke could call out, his father had appeared, grabbing Itachi by the arm, even though there was no need. Itachi made no attempt to attack the already downed Uchiha again, his father apologized to the three quickly, claiming the Itachi had been under a lot of stress. To Sasuke's amazement, Itachi fell to his knees and apologized as well.
The strange scene finally ended, Itachi went off alone, and his father sighed and shook his head before walking off. Aiko and Sasuke were left alone; Sasuke stared at the back of his older brother's head as he walked away.
"What just happened…?" Aiko wondered aloud, Sasuke shrugged, he had no idea. "Aiko… I'm going to do it."
"Do what?" His sister asked curiously. Sasuke scowled at the back of Itachi's head, "I'm going to become stronger than Itachi, and then father will look at me the way he does at him."
"Father loves you, Sasuke."
"He loves Itachi more."
"Its not a contest, nii-chan." Aiko defended her brother and father. Sasuke glared at her, and eyes widening, she stepped back uncertainly, "Sasuke-chan?"
"Don't call me that." He replied hotly, and stormed into their home. Aiko felt tears coming to the surface, her brother had looked at her with such… rage. It scared her.
"See you tomorrow, Aiko-san!"
"Bye Ino, Sakura!"
Aiko giggled and walked in the opposite direction as her two best friends, the academy was a fun place. Sure they were learning to kill, but after being isolated as an Uchiha her whole life, it was nice to make new friends outside the clan.
Inside she only had Sasuke, here; she had all kinds of friends. Thinking of her brother made her good mood disappear, he had grown… cold, to her. Through everything, she always had her family. But now Sasuke was moving his own way. After his best friend Shisui's death, Itachi had grown distant. Her father and mother were always meeting in secret with the rest of the clan. Aiko realized that something big must be going on within the Uchiha clan, but she didn't know what.
Instead of investigating she retreated into her schoolwork. It was none of her business what the clan leader's wanted to do with the Uchiha, she strived to do her best in the academy. Although her grades improved even further, her progress had nothing on Sasuke, who improved in leaps and bounds.
"Uzumaki Barrage!" A voice screamed nearby, and she was startled out of her reverie. In the nearby training field, two figures were practicing at different target logs.
The nearest was Uzumaki Naruto, the class dead last. The boy had almost become a friend, but drew away from her after their first encounter, and she didn't press him. She walked by, glancing at how the 'Uzumaki Barrage,' basically a wave of every kunai and shuriken that Naruto had, missed the log completely.
Shaking her head, Aiko thought about going to give Naruto a few tips, but decided against it. The second figure practicing was her brother Sasuke, who had made it a habit to stay late to practice his weapon accuracy. Unlike Naruto, Sasuke's throws were quiet, precise, and were always made in twos and threes, striking their targets every time.
Sasuke glanced at Aiko, his dark eyes meeting hers. She waved, he didn't. Aiko's heart hurt a little more, but she continued to walk home as if it didn't bother her.
She moved quickly through the Konoha streets, mumbling greetings and small smiles to those who waved or called out to her. The villagers were quite nice to her, her clan made up the bulk of the police force, which interacted and protected the village of Konoha itself, so the Uchiha were well liked.
Aiko herself never had problems making friends, unlike Sasuke. People found her demeanor kind and good natured. Her father had scolded her multiple times for it, saying that she was too nice. Her mother on the other hand commended her on the ability to befriend almost anyone, although she was ashamed to admit it, mother loved her more than Sasuke or Itachi. But since father ignored her, Aiko jealously held tight to her relationship with her mother.
This meant sometimes going along to the grocers or some other boring task, but it was nice to actually spend time with a family member. Most of the rest of the clan was older than her, and didn't want to hang out with a kid like her, so her immediate family was really her only choice.
Maybe soon they would come back together. Her family had been drifting apart lately, but mother truly loved them all… as did Aiko. She knew Itachi loved her and Sasuke… and father just had trouble expressing his feelings. Soon Sasuke would see that father was proud of him, and Itachi would talk to mother again, so she wouldn't cry when she thought no one was listening, and Sasuke… Sasuke would come back to her.
A sharp pain ran through her and she realized she was missing her twin deeply, they had always been so close, they had done everything together, eating, sleeping, training, all of it. The academy came and she had new friends, and she was happy. Sasuke should have made friends too, but he was too shy, a bit too arrogant. The other boys didn't realize it was simply his mask, his way of living as an Uchiha.
Maybe she should have tried and helped him more, helped him make friends. But Aiko knew Sasuke, and she knew he hated anyone trying to help him when he thought he didn't need it. It would simply cause him to resent her more.
She entered the Uchiha district, distracted by her thoughts, not noticing the too empty streets at first. Aiko missed the dark reddish black patches that were leaking from some of the house doors. She didn't notice a few of the shattered and cracked windows… or the growing metallic tang that was beginning to hang in the air.
Something was wrong, it was too quiet. She moved through the streets of the Uchiha compound towards her home. Usually people of her clan were out and about at this time, but it was silent. Could there be a clan meeting that she didn't know about? Ignoring the niggling urge to run, to leave, she continued to her own home.
Two steps from the door of her home, a sharp pain hit her neck, and with a gasp she blacked out.
Sasuke had noticed the blood; he had peeked through the broken windows and saw the dead bodies of his clan mates, his family. He raced through the streets towards his own home, panting, the taste of blood in the air and the descending odor of death setting in.
He entered his home, desperate to find his parents, and desperate not to find…
Their corpses. The door slid open easily, and Sasuke watched as his mother's body fell atop his father, who was also still. Aiko was lying in the corner, immobile.
"No…" Sasuke moaned. A figure was moving out from the shadow, in the pale light of the now rising moon, Sasuke made out of the figure of his brother, decked out in full ANBU gear.
"A-Aniki… what happened to them?"
As he said it, he saw his brother's slight movement, the sword in his hand, glinting with the blood of their family. Sasuke fell to his knees, moaning, "Aniki… what have you done?"
"What I had to. What I need to… to test my potential."
"What are you talking about? You killed our family… to… to test…?"
"My potential." Itachi finished coldly. In a blur of motion that Sasuke had no hope of following, Itachi had him by the neck and pinned against the wall. Sasuke made no move to struggle, his eyes dull with the pain of losing his family.
"You do not hate me." Itachi intoned softly.
"You… you're my brother…"
"Because you don't understand what I have done…" Itachi brought him to eye level, and Sasuke stared into the Sharingan of his brother, which had taken a strange windmill shape.
"Let me show you."
Suddenly Sasuke was out of his body, in a spectral form, he watched as Itachi killed everyone in the clan… he became aware of the pain, suddenly, he was the one being killed. Every time Itachi stabbed a cousin, an aunt, Sasuke felt it. The deep pain, the loss of air…
Over and over the killings played out, Itachi relentlessly slaughtered everyone, the elderly, the teens not much older than Sasuke. He killed them all over and over in front of him. Hours seemed to pass.
Sasuke saw his father's horror as Itachi ran him through with his sword, Sasuke felt the pain of his mother as Itachi's cut sliced her deep, too deep to survive- it hurt, it was more than anything he had ever felt in his life and he felt it over and over again.
"Live in an unnatural way…"
Sasuke wanted it to stop… he wanted it to end… death, he wanted death.
"For it is the only way to kill me."
Sasuke's world went black.
"How are they, really?"
"Sasuke was just released from the hospital. They both seem to be in shock, they talk to no one."
"Who's watching over them?"
"You will be, now. From a distance, of course."
"What about my other assignment?"
"Neko-san will be taking over for you."
"Tell him to take it seriously, that kid is slippery."
"He can be a handful that is sure. I will be sure to properly warn Neko."
"Hokage-sama… can they recover from this?"
"I hope so Kakashi; they're all we have left of the Uchiha clan."
A nine year old Naruto watched Aiko from a distance, the girl who had once been as happy and carefree as him. She had withdrawn into a shell.
Naruto watched as slowly her friends, at first so supportive, left her. Oh they made the effort to say hi to her every once and awhile… but the quiet, her unresponsiveness was disheartening, and even scary.
Iruka-sensei had stopped asking her questions in class, she was quieter than Aburame Shino, she spoke to no one except maybe Sasuke, and that was only a few words in public. She was still near the top of the class, but the spark that had allowed her to challenge Sasuke for the very top spot was gone, Naruto felt like he was watching a shell.
More than anything, Naruto could feel it, her pain… it was terrible. He knew that pain, it was his pain. He hid behind the mask of childish laughter, but inside he hurt too. Did Aiko hurt more than him? He wouldn't be surprised if she did… Aiko had a family, and they were taken from her.
As for Sasuke, Naruto watched as the boy became even more withdrawn. At first he had been like Aiko, unspeaking. The pain however disappeared from his eyes after several months. It was replaced with something that Naruto couldn't quite identify… determination? Anger?
The boy stayed at the top of the class, no one was close, least of all Naruto who was only challenged for the bottom by Shikamaru, who was determined to sleep through as many tests as he could and still pass.
Aiko… Naruto remembered the young girl who had reached out to him on the playground, the girl who happily swung as high as she possibly could, and who taught him to do so too. Who taught him how to really feel happy. Who was so hurt now, so withdrawn, so alone…
'I want to help you… but I don't know how. You and Sasuke… you're alone like me, but you're so much better than me at everything. You're of the Uchiha clan, and I'm nothing, just an orphan…'
What disgusted Naruto even more, was most of the friends that Aiko had held so close had abandoned her to chase after her brother, who they thought was 'cute.' It disgusted Naruto. Sakura and Ino had been best friends with Aiko, now they bickered and were bitter rivals trying to claim Sasuke's heart.
Sasuke ignored them, which was a plus in Naruto's book. All the blond could think about was how Aiko had never been more alone in her life and no one was reaching out to help her.
'She has Sasuke… she'll be alright.'
Naruto failed to even convince himself that for even a second.
Like it? Hate it? Tell me, if you notice any mistakes its self beta'd and since I love myself sometimes I don't see them.
I expect to update weekly… so next chapter should be up by next Thursday or Friday.